Tag Archives: Zachary Fucale

Scherbak Blues

For parts of two days Lucy and I were at the Habs rookie camp in Brossard watching the young bucks skate like the wind and whistle shots like pucks out of a bazooka. And I couldn’t find Nikita Scherbak.

Where was this new 1st rounder? I wanted to see him. I paid big money and………okay it was free. But still.

We showed up for the red and white scrimmage on Monday, sat down, and two minutes later the game ended. So we didn’t see Scherbak, but then again, we didn’t see almost anybody else either.

After most of the fans had left, and because we’d just got there, we hung around and moved over to the other rink where only goalie Zachary Fucale was on the ice. Then a couple of other guys showed up, then a few more. Soon there was a bunch of them.

Including Nikita Scherbak.

He skated around with a gloomy look on his face. Sometimes he coughed. He fell down a few times while attempting one-timers. His shots, when he wasn’t falling down, looked weak. He looked confused while doing drills, and although his skating seemed fine, once or twice he escaped to the bench, sat by himself, and put his head down.

This was a young fellow who looked terrible. I wondered if he was out of shape. He’s not ready, said Lucy.

After everyone left the ice, including Scherbak, we strolled over and watched the boys across the way going through various dryland training stretches with a couple of terrific-looking ladies in great shape leading the group.  These gals, who seemed close to the same age as the players, must love their job, I thought.

Then suddenly, making his way across to join the rest, was Scherbak again. Looking horrible. Like he’d rather be at the dentist. Walking slower than slow, his sweatshirt crumpled and stuck halfway up his back. Geezus, I thought.

Today I heard and read that Scherbak’s been sick and missed most of his rookie camp because of it.

I feel bad for the kid, but certainly not as bad as he probably feels.

A big page in his hockey career puked on by the flu gods. Such timing. Such bad luck. This wasn’t Nikita Scherbak at his finest, but someday, when he’s a regular on the big team, he might think back about his first rookie camp and laugh.

Or maybe not.


Canada Loses In Shootout

Another one of those fun to watch World Junior games. Unfortunately, at least for those of us cheering for Team Canada in today’s game against the Czech Republic, the good guys would lose 5-4 in the shootout.

They kept falling behind and tying it, but in the end it wasn’t to be.

So much skill and passion from these kids. It never gets old watching them. And the Canadians had their chances but it just wasn’t to be.

There’s going to be some criticism I guess. Maybe the goaltending could’ve been sharper. Maybe Anthony Mantha shouldn’t have touched the puck when going off the ice which led to a too many men penalty and a Czech goal.

Regardless, all these kids in this tournament are brilliant and I’m full of admiration for the whole bunch of them.

Some Habs connections:

Alma, QC’s Charles Hudon drafted 122nd in 2012, tied the score at four apiece.

Zachary Fucale could be between the pipes on Monday when the boys clash with Slovakia (11:30 ET). Fucale, from Rosemere, QC, was taken 36th by the Canadiens in the 2013 draft.

Anthony Mantha’s grandfather is Andre Pronovost, a solid defensive forward with the Canadiens from 1956 to 1961, who would collect four straight Stanley Cups as a member of those late ’50s juggernauts.

The book my dad got signed for me in the late-50s includes Pronovost’s autograph, halfway down, just below Boom Boom Geoffrion’s. (My son has the book now. Otherwise I’d take the picture again and make it bigger).


Canadiens Fall Short In Shootout

They kept grabbing the lead and losing it, and when all was said and down, the Canadiens lose 5-4 to Buffalo in the shootout.

And that’s fine. It was prospects night, a lineup laced with guys knowing full-well that they’ll be packing up shortly. It’s all part of the process, and it was night for most regulars to sit and watch and get ready.

In fact, when you look at which regulars from last season played on this night, you see that it was only a handful – Lars Eller, Alex Galchenyuk, Brendan Gallagher, Brandon Prust, Raphael Diaz, Drew Drewiske, and for the first half of the game, Peter Budaj.

And already, after just a period and a half of the first preseason game, Peter Budaj makes me nervous.

We saw Jarred Tinordi thump and bump and if he stays, we need that kind of physical effort on a nightly basis from him. I’d like to see him get downright mean. We need that from a guy his size. Hal Gill didn’t have that nasty streak and it was too bad.

Michael Bournival netted a pair. Zachary Fucale, replacing Budaj midway, allowed a goal on his first shot but was solid afterwards. Tall and lanky Michael McCarron contributed two assists, and 30-year old Martin St-Pierre played well, was in the thick of things, and contributed a goal and an assist.

The Canadiens had two power play goals on the night – from Erik Nystrom and St-Pierre, and it’s always nice, whether it’s a preseason tilt or a game in February or April, when the team can collect a couple of goals with the man advantage.

Buffalo has a couple of despicable critters in Patrick Kaleta and Steve Ott, and although they were their usual obnoxious selves, we’ll see how they are when George Parros laces ’em up. Brandon Prust tried to have a go at Kaleta but the bastard slinked away before it could happen.

This is a season where the Canadiens cannot be taken advantage of. Throw Tinordi into the mix with Parros, White, Moen, and Prust, and the dynamics change and players like Ott and Kaleta will just be two more roadkill on the Habs road to respectability.

Tomorrow it’s the Bruins at the Bell. It’ll be interesting to see who suits up for the Habs, and it’ll be interesting to see which players get weeded out as preseason goes on. It’s always nice to have the set squad get at least a couple of games in before the real stuff begins.



Two More Young Bucks

The Canadiens, choosing 34th in the second round, picked 6’2″ Swedish left winger Jacob De La Rose, and then went again at #34 and grabbed the top-ranked goalie in the draft, Rosemere native Zachary Fucale.

Rosemere is just north of Montreal, and Fucale, who’s been minding nets for the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey league, is a Carey Price fan and of course a Habs fan.

How great is that!

With Fucale between the pipes and first overall pick Nathan MacKinnon and third overall Jonathan Drouin roaming the ice up front, it’s no wonder the Mooseheads captured this year’s Memorial Cup.

De La Rose’s number’s can be found here and Fucale’s here.